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TOPIC: Can working out make your stomach look bigger?

 
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July 19, 2012 9:34 PM
Just wondering!

I've been doing sit-ups, crunches, and some-sort-of-back-exercise-I-have-no-name-for everyday along with my cardio (I do legs/ chest & arms on different days with a two day break between repeats) and I just noticed my tummy looks more... noticeable, haha. And not at all in a flattering way. I've been losing weight still, and my stomach even feels more firm, but it's really protruding out more then it used to. Anyone know why?
  19901845
July 19, 2012 9:36 PM
you must be building abs!

..or your pregnant =]
July 19, 2012 9:37 PM
QUOTE:

you must be building abs!

..or your pregnant =]


Ahahaha, definitely not pregnant! :)
  19901845
July 19, 2012 9:38 PM
This happened to me when I was really working my stomach out.
Do you always stretch before and after your workout? I find this helps. It makes my muscles seem less "bunched up" if you know what I mean.
But there could be several reasons...working out the stomach too much, not working out your back and chest to balance out etc.
Sometimes it just takes time or experimentation.
July 19, 2012 9:40 PM
Sometimes is a proportional thing. I tend to shed fat in my shoulders and chest first, then my upper legs and arms, and finally my stomach. So as the other parts start to look more fit, my gut can look worse in comparison to when I was just a fatty blob all over. Basically I can walk around with my shirt unbuttoned halfway to the navel, but can't take the shirt off lest I be asked to leave the beach. Eventually it evens out tho.

Note: I'm in no way saying that spot reducing is possible. What tends to happen is that the fat goes on in a certain order and tends to come off in a reverse of that order. I have no control over the order.
July 19, 2012 9:41 PM
Yes, abs can grow. If they are covered with too much fat, then you dont see the new definition and just the increased size. Or even if you are lean, unflexed abs can make your stomach seem larger.
July 19, 2012 9:41 PM
QUOTE:

This happened to me when I was really working my stomach out.
Do you always stretch before and after your workout? I find this helps. It makes my muscles seem less "bunched up" if you know what I mean.
But there could be several reasons...working out the stomach too much, not working out your back and chest to balance out etc.
Sometimes it just takes time or experimentation.


Oooh, no, I don't stretch. I'll try to remember to start doing that!!
Thank you for your input, it helps. :)
  19901845
July 19, 2012 9:48 PM
So should I stop doing the sit-ups and stuff? o:
  19901845
July 19, 2012 9:50 PM
absolutely! its called barrel stomach. this typically happens when you are building up your ab muscles. this is a good thing because the more muscle you have the more fat it will burn around your abs. the many reason is you maybe going heavy on your ab crunches if you are using wieghts. if so, you may want to go lighter and and more reps. one good thing is that the more you work your abs you will start to notice more definition which is good. give your body time to adjust to the increase of lean muscle mass . also, if you are noticing any lose skin at all up the weight of your ab crunches and lower the reps.. this is an issue for me and i went heavier with fewer reps and everything lightened up.

is your stomach protruding all day or at certain time? for example after ab routine or cardio. if its after your ab routine all it is is the pump meaning you have a lot of blood flow to your abs. if it is after cardio like running or anything on an incline your abs were getting a work out as well.

hope this helped
July 19, 2012 9:53 PM
My opinion on this is that specific ab work is a waste of time if you still have considerable fat to lose- except if you have some need for additional core strength. Your time would be much better spent strength training big muscle groups by doing compound movements that engage your core- like squats for example, or pushups, pull ups for the back. Those movements promote fat loss all over and work the core at the same time. If you're going to do ab work, the captain's chair is the best bang for your buck. But doing ab work won't make your stomach flatter or define your abs until you've lost the fat on top.

Edit- I'm not saying not to do any of it- all strength training has some value, it's just I see people spend a lot of time on it, when the time could be better spent elsewhere for better results.
Edited by MoreBean13 On July 19, 2012 10:00 PM
  20711900
July 19, 2012 10:25 PM
QUOTE:

Sometimes is a proportional thing. I tend to shed fat in my shoulders and chest first, then my upper legs and arms, and finally my stomach. So as the other parts start to look more fit, my gut can look worse in comparison to when I was just a fatty blob all over. Basically I can walk around with my shirt unbuttoned halfway to the navel, but can't take the shirt off lest I be asked to leave the beach. Eventually it evens out tho.

Note: I'm in no way saying that spot reducing is possible. What tends to happen is that the fat goes on in a certain order and tends to come off in a reverse of that order. I have no control over the order.


This sounds exactly right; your overall proportions are changing, and this happens to be a non-flattering stage of your journey. Abs are a set of very small muscles, so they don't really get big enough to protrude that much.
July 19, 2012 10:30 PM
QUOTE:

absolutely! its called barrel stomach. this typically happens when you are building up your ab muscles. this is a good thing because the more muscle you have the more fat it will burn around your abs. the many reason is you maybe going heavy on your ab crunches if you are using wieghts. if so, you may want to go lighter and and more reps. one good thing is that the more you work your abs you will start to notice more definition which is good. give your body time to adjust to the increase of lean muscle mass . also, if you are noticing any lose skin at all up the weight of your ab crunches and lower the reps.. this is an issue for me and i went heavier with fewer reps and everything lightened up.

is your stomach protruding all day or at certain time? for example after ab routine or cardio. if its after your ab routine all it is is the pump meaning you have a lot of blood flow to your abs. if it is after cardio like running or anything on an incline your abs were getting a work out as well.

hope this helped


Thank you, that made me feel better! I'll give it some time - I only realized tonight how noticeable my tummy was getting, so I'll give it a while before deciding if I should stop or not. I really enjoy doing the sits-ups, they make me feel good afterwards. xP

I can't do pull-ups or push-ups yet (/fail) but I'll look into squats! I did 5 just now and I definitely felt a burn! Thanks again guys, really! I appreciate it. :D
  19901845
July 19, 2012 10:31 PM
QUOTE:

My opinion on this is that specific ab work is a waste of time if you still have considerable fat to lose- except if you have some need for additional core strength. Your time would be much better spent strength training big muscle groups by doing compound movements that engage your core- like squats for example, or pushups, pull ups for the back. Those movements promote fat loss all over and work the core at the same time. If you're going to do ab work, the captain's chair is the best bang for your buck. But doing ab work won't make your stomach flatter or define your abs until you've lost the fat on top.

Edit- I'm not saying not to do any of it- all strength training has some value, it's just I see people spend a lot of time on it, when the time could be better spent elsewhere for better results.


Totally agree. Perhaps cut your ab/core work by 75% and spend that extra time on shoulders and legs? Because you know wha makes a stomach look more narrow? An excellently V tapered body that has a shapely middle bookended by great looking thighs/glutes and toned shoulders/back.

And although it's technically possible grow your abs and core muscles so much that they are outsize to your body, I don't think you've put in the time (years and years) and effort (1000's and 1000's of pounds moved) for this to be the case.
July 19, 2012 10:32 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Sometimes is a proportional thing. I tend to shed fat in my shoulders and chest first, then my upper legs and arms, and finally my stomach. So as the other parts start to look more fit, my gut can look worse in comparison to when I was just a fatty blob all over. Basically I can walk around with my shirt unbuttoned halfway to the navel, but can't take the shirt off lest I be asked to leave the beach. Eventually it evens out tho.

Note: I'm in no way saying that spot reducing is possible. What tends to happen is that the fat goes on in a certain order and tends to come off in a reverse of that order. I have no control over the order.


This sounds exactly right; your overall proportions are changing, and this happens to be a non-flattering stage of your journey. Abs are a set of very small muscles, so they don't really get big enough to protrude that much.



Ooooooh, okay!!! That makes sense too. You guys are awesome. :')
/hug
  19901845
July 19, 2012 11:41 PM
Maybe water weight??
  18566506
July 19, 2012 11:45 PM
Aww I'm going through this too :( I've started using the captain's chair at the gym as well as focusing more on my posture and sucking in my ab muscles while I do cardio and not only are my abs sore but my belly seems to have gotten bigger.. but flatter, somehow? And I am noticing some definition around my hipbones.. but I'm feeling quite self conscious about the fact that my stomach is protruding more than usual. Hopefully it's just an awkward phase and the fat will finally melt off and reveal some abs.. *crosses fingers*
June 25, 2013 7:15 AM
This is me right now, too. :( Makes me want to stop working out/gaining weight, actually. Super discouraging.
January 19, 2014 3:08 AM
I run for 25-35 minutes and do cardio after it for 5 minutes and I'm going through the same. Is it a good sign in my case?
January 19, 2014 3:09 AM
QUOTE:

absolutely! its called barrel stomach. this typically happens when you are building up your ab muscles. this is a good thing because the more muscle you have the more fat it will burn around your abs. the many reason is you maybe going heavy on your ab crunches if you are using wieghts. if so, you may want to go lighter and and more reps. one good thing is that the more you work your abs you will start to notice more definition which is good. give your body time to adjust to the increase of lean muscle mass . also, if you are noticing any lose skin at all up the weight of your ab crunches and lower the reps.. this is an issue for me and i went heavier with fewer reps and everything lightened up.

is your stomach protruding all day or at certain time? for example after ab routine or cardio. if its after your ab routine all it is is the pump meaning you have a lot of blood flow to your abs. if it is after cardio like running or anything on an incline your abs were getting a work out as well.

hope this helped


I run for 25-35 minutes and do cardio after it for 5 minutes and I'm going through the same. Is it a good sign in my case?
Edited by haju2 On January 19, 2014 3:09 AM
May 17, 2014 12:09 AM
Bump!
  16517091

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